|Title||The role of knowledge and research in facilitating social learning among stakeholders in natural resources management in the French Atlantic coastal wetlands.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2007|
|Authors||Steyaert P., Barzman M., Billaud J.P., Brives H., Hubert B., Ollivier G., Roche B.|
|Journal||Environmental Science & Policy|
|Keywords||intervention research, natural resource management, public participation, science-policy interface, social learning, sustainable learning, wetlands|
To increase understanding of social learning through the process of knowledge co-production across multi-stakeholder platforms in natural resource management
Environmental decision-making is characterised by complexity and uncertainty, and in these circumstances deliberations at the local scale are mostly about managing interdependencies such as collective agreements and reconstructing links between system elements. This iterative and interactive process of knowledge co-production is recognised by the authors as social learning. These processes are examined within a case study from the French Atlantic coastal wetlands. In particular, the research examines the challenges associated with the production and application of knowledge, including the role of scientists in tis process. A core concept used by the authors is that of learning ‘arenas.’ This is described as the space and time in which new meanings emerge. Within these arenas problems are formulated, deliberation takes place and collective action is implemented. Scientists can choose to operate within or outside these arenas, but this will determine the relevance, or otherwise, of the knowledge they produce. The potential for a ‘socio-technical democracy’ is seen to be emerging, which emphasises an integrative approach to the production and mobilisation of knowledge utilising latest technologies. The importance of both local and global perspectives is acknowledged in this ‘democracy’ and therefore the need for a balanced articulation between scales.
The concept of learning ‘arenas’ or spaces, creates an important frame of reference for adaptive learning. The creation of an adaptive learning framework requires the careful and critical evaluation of these ‘arenas.’ This may be particularly relevant at the boundaries where opportunities for expanding interconnectedness could be heightened. It is also at the boundaries, or peripheries, where current views, values or understandings may be most challenged.